By Curtis Chong
If, like me, you have started reading digital talking books from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) of the Library of Congress, you have probably been using the new NLS digital talking book player. You may think that the only books you can play on this wonderful machine are the ones contained on those cartridges that you receive in the mail. Perhaps, if you are a bit more adventurous, you have started downloading books from the BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) site.
What you may not know is that the NLS digital talking book player is able to read audio books from other sources, and if you happen to have some music on MP3 files, you can play them on the NLS player as well.
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) is a significant source of audio textbooks. RFB&D members can download these books from the RFB&D website and play them on the NLS player. Once a user authorization key is obtained from the RFB&D website and installed on to the player, an RFB&D book is as easily read as any book from the NLS.
Unfortunately, there is one class of audio books that I cannot play on the NLS player–those from commercial audio book supplier Audible.com, as the NLS player does not support playing this type of book.
Nevertheless, it is nice to know that the designers of the NLS player have made the machine versatile enough to play a great variety of audio files, and for this, NLS is to be heartily commended.